Polish hero Walesa / MON 8-11-14 / iPhone assistant / Longtime Nikon competitor / Annual El Paso football event / Company said to use about 1% of world's wood / Of ancient greek period / apt rhyme of crude /
Monday, August 11, 2014
Constructor: David Steinberg & Bernice Gordon
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: H-LL vowel progression — five words that begin with letter pattern H-LL, with each successive themer bringing a new vowel in the second position (A thru U):
- HALLELUJAH (18A: "Thank God Almighty!")
- HELLENISTIC (23A: Of an ancient Greek period)
- HILLBILLY (35A: Jed Clampett, e.g.)
- HOLLANDAISE (49A: Sauce made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice)
- HULLABALOO (55A: Uproar)
A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it from within. There are different kinds of hernias, each requiring a specific management or treatment. (wikipedia)
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I MADE IT back from LA JOLLA—Seriously, super weird coincidence to see that answer (that juxtaposition!) today after my weeklong vacation there. Had a wonderful time with the whole (dad's side of the) family: dad and stepmom, their four kids (and spouses), and then *their* five kids. Fifteen total. Much beaching and drinking and Legolanding and Zooing and eating, not necessarily (though not unnecessarily) in that order. Had a delightful if comically absurd niche-fame moment when my (deep breath) stepbrother's stepdaughter's boyfriend (exhale), whose name is Logan, informed me one evening, when I was at my computer, mid-solve, that his mom reads my blog all the time and was not going to believe that he was meeting me. My family then tells him he should take a picture. So here I am, solving, having a conversation, and semi-posing for a picture, simultaneously. Hashtag TALENT.
Just a little behind-the-scenes peek at the exciting world of Guy Sitting At His Computer. And now, the Monday puzzle.
HILLBILLY is an odd man out, insofar as those initial four letter spell a word related to the meaning of the larger word, i.e. the HALL-word is not related to a HALL, the HELL- word is not related to HELL, the HOLL- word is not related to HOLL because that's not a thing, and the HULL- word has nothing to do with any sort of HULL, but I'm pretty sure HILLBILL(ies) live in HILLs. Or near them. HILLARY or HILLEL might've made interesting candidates, though the latter couldn't have gone in the center. Anyway, HILLBILLY is at least a colorful word. Overall, the fill is average to slightly cleaner than average, I think. Doesn't contain anything too memorable, though it's got some nice touches like OLD CHAP and the aforementioned LA JOLLA. Also, can't recall ever seeing HERNIA before. I thought that word was on one of them there anatomical no-fly lists, but here it is. Look out for URINE, coming soon to a puzzle near you (and why not?).
I had exactly one solving snag—NAIL UP (47D: Seal, as a shipping crate). I guess I've never done … that. Something about the UP part just didn't want to come. But it seems like a common enough expression. For crate shippers.
P.S. Thanks to Evan, Keith, Catherine, Angela, and Doug, for allowing me to enjoy family time this past week, undistracted by the minutiae of blog management. I am, as always, grateful.